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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.
The meta continues to evolve, even this late in the set's release. The big shocker is seeing Amber/Steel Midrange's win rate fall quite a bit in games this week online. It remains the most popular deck out there, but it is struggling in a few key matchups, chiefly with the new top deck by win rate, Amber/Ruby Midrange. Amber/Ruby Midrange still has a low meta share and has yet to distinguish itself in tournament play but I expect both of those things to come around soon, mostly due to its great matchup against Amber/Steel Midrange.
Amethyst/Ruby Control continues to be the second-most popular deck and its performance remains consistent. It only barely slips into Tier 2 this week due to an overall rising of win rates across the board.
Ramp is proving to be popular archetype with several different flavors all achieving good success on the ladder. Amber/Sapphire Control, Emerald/Sapphire Tempo and the tried-and-true Sapphire/Steel Control all had rising win rates this week.
As for the fallers this week, we've already mentioned Amber/Steel Midrange's surprising drop. This isn't just a case where low-ranked players are dragging down the win rate either, as the deck has a sub-50 percent win rate amongst the top 100 players online as well. Is it a blip in the radar or a sign of the meta shifting to counter the most popular deck? Emerald/Steel Aggro also fell off quite a bit this week too. Its worst matchup? Yup, it's Amber/Ruby Midrange.
Here's the full tier list for this week:
|Tier||Deck Name||Win Rate||Meta Share|
|Tier 1||🟡🔴 Amber/Ruby Midrange||50.8%||5.1%|
|🟡🔵 Amber/Sapphire Control Ramp ⬆️||50.6%||9.1%|
|🔵⚪️ Sapphire/Steel Control Ramp||50.5%||7.6%|
|Tier 2||🟣🔴 Amethyst/Ruby Control||50.3%||13.4%|
|🟢🔵 Emerald/Sapphire Tempo Ramp ⬆️||50.3%||5.5%|
|🟣🟢 Amethyst/Emerald Aggro||50.2%||6.5%|
|Tier 3||🟡🟢 Amber/Emerald Aggro||49.8%||5.5%|
|🟡⚪️ Amber/Steel Midrange ⬇️||49.3%||18.8%|
|🟢⚪️ Emerald/Steel Aggro ⬇️||48.9%||9.1%|
|Sleeper||🔴🟢 Emerald/Ruby Aggro||50.8%||3.3%|
|🟡🟣 Amber/Amethyst Control||51.6%||3.7%|
Amber/Ruby Midrange is the big winner this week, catapulting into the top spot in terms of win rate. It's still relatively underplayed on ladder but that could be changing. It boasts strong win rates against 2 of the 3 most common decks in the meta, with a 53% and 55% win rate against Amber/Steel and Emerald/Steel, respectively. And it has a nearly even matchup against the other popular deck, Amethyst/Ruby. So it is well positioned in the current meta and that is evident by it's top win rate.
It has yet to really pop off at tournaments, but that may soon be changing. Here is a list from Zigouill that was brought to a 64-player French tournament over the weekend and took 5th place.
Amber/Sapphire Control Ramp
Another deck with strong matchups against the meta mainstays, Amber/Sapphire also finds itself in the top tier of decks this week. With the ability to ramp aggressively and then play big threats while simultaneously removing your opponent's threats, this deck has all the tools you could want for a midrange-bordering-on-control build. It's one drawback is a lack of AoE damage or removal and that is reflected in its less than stellar win rates against aggro decks.
The deck does have strong showings at tournaments to its name and this past week it placed in the top 4 out of 64 players in $2k tournament hosted by MinMax Collectibles in California. Here is the list used, by Christopher Neal.
Sapphire/Steel Control Ramp
Despite having relatively weak matchups into Amethyst/Ruby and Amber/Steel, Sapphire/Steel Control manages to sneak into the top tier this week. It's boosted by a very strong win rate against Emerald/Steel Aggro. In a meta dominated by A Whole New World's, ramping in general seems like it's very good idea. Either you draw and play your A Whole New World or your opponent will draw and play one for you! Either way, having an ink advantage and then getting a handful of cards is a recipe for success.
Our deck highlight this week is a list from top Pixelborn player Duckie. He's gone heavy into ramp and included lots of big bombs to take advantage of that ink gain, even slotting in a couple copies of the biggest boy in The First Chapter, Maui - Demigod.
What else is there to say about Amethyst/Ruby Control? It's a deck that has been around since the very first days of The First Chapter meta and it just keeps on trucking. Its win rate has stayed remarkably steady, even as other decks around it continue to rise and fall. It only just slips out of the top tier this week but don't let that dissuade you from taking this deck on to ladder if you want to climb.
We are going to highlight my own list here, which is a budget list that I included in our budget decks guide. The deck may be affordable but it can still hold its own in competitive play. It just goes to show the remarkable resiliency of this ink color combination.
Emerald/Sapphire Tempo Ramp
Another ramp deck that rose in the rankings this week is the Emerald/Sapphire pairing. This deck is much more of a tempo-oriented deck as opposed to most of the other controlling ramp builds. And again, its lack of card draw can be a downside, but if you are constantly queueing into Steel decks you are going to be drawing any way with your opponent's A Whole New World. Why include your own card draw if your opponent will draw for you?
Our highlighted deck for Emerald/Sapphire is a list from TSI-Nei that took 4th place in the 64-player French tournament from this weekend.
The Amethyst/Emerald Aggro deck stayed steady on the tier list this week. It has a surprisingly decent win rate against of 53% against Amber/Steel, which definitely helps keep it afloat. I think this is probably the best aggro deck in the game currently, as the combination of card draw and high lore characters is tough for most decks to deal with.
For the deck highlight, we have another list from the French tournament, this one by Khirae and taking 2nd place out of 64 players. Impressive stuff!
The OG aggro deck, Amber/Emerald, is still hanging around but is now outclassed by most other decks in the format. That being said, the deck archetype is not completely dead. It can certainly still win you lots of games and let you climb the ladder quickly, thanks to how fast the games go, win or lose.
And, it turns out, it can even still win you tournaments. This list by clubfootx500 came in first place in a recent online tournament, hosted by Youtuber Manticxre.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once at the top of the heap, Amber/Steel Midrange has found itself dropped to the bottom of the tier list this week. But does that mean this deck's time in the limelight is over? Far from it. It's definitely being targeted and that's to be expected when it makes up a bulk of the meta. But with some tweaks and changes, this deck could find itself right back at the top once again.
It could be that the deck wants to go in a more aggressive direction. This list from Dante the Pizzafan (who isn't a fan of pizza though?) does just that, eschewing the high value cards like Stitch - Carefree Surfer and Hades - Lord of the Underworld for even more aggression.
Emerald/Steel Aggro was also a victim of rising win rates across the board leaving it near the bottom of the heap in this week's tier list. It's a solid deck but not one with particularly favorable matchups. It's best matchup is fellow aggro deck, Amethyst/Emerald. But it's a mere coin flip against most of deck archetypes and struggles mightily against Amber/Ruby, which could be its death knell if that deck continues to gain in popularity.
Our Emerald/Steel list highlight for this week is a deck that looks to do something a bit different than the usual aggro gameplan. This one is a mill deck, which means it's trying to win by decking out our opponent. It does this by spamming A Whole New Worlds and then bringing them back with Do It Again and Lady Tremaine - Wicked Stepmother. It's a fun list, and according to deck author Zef_YT, a competitive one that was running nearly a 60% win rate on ladder.
A new ink combination has emerged this week as a potential sleeper and it is Emerald/Ruby. An interesting pairing for sure, and one that doesn't seem to want to go together, but this archetype does have some decent win rates across the board. The one thing you can find to put together here is an assortment of "annoying" characters. Lots of characters you probably can't challenge with a large amount of Evasives from Ruby and things you don't really want to challenge in Emerald's toolkit.
That's just what this budget list from cubbiefanlkm is put together to do. Be annoying to deal with and simultaneously hard to stop from questing for high amounts of lore. Give it a shot on ladder or at your locals and see how it performs for you.
The other sleeper deck for this week was in this spot last week as well. It seems players have yet to wake up to the potential behind Amber/Amethyst. It's win rate has gone even higher than last week but its meta share is still less than 4%. Will it grow in adoption rate before the meta gets completely shaken up by the release of Rise of the Floodborn? Probably not, but if you want a real sleeper of a deck to try and climb with these last couple of weeks, give Amber/Amethyst a spin.
Here's a list I've been having success with on ladder. It is an aggressive build that takes advantage of Friends on the Other Side being a song to draw you cards for free. Sebastian - Court Composer on turn 2 into singing Friends on turn 3 and playing a 3-drop is a great line. And Stitch - Rock Star always has the possibility to pop off.
And that's it for this week's meta report. We should have one more week of stats from The First Chapter meta before things get thrown topsy-turvy as Rise of the Floodborn releases. Looking forward to the meta shake-up to come!