Table of Contents
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. Tier 1 has 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 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, with further refinement, they could vault themselves into the top tiers of the meta.
The first full week of Rise of the Floodborn is behind us and the meta has already seen some drastic twists and turns. Early in the week, we saw a lot of bounce and discard decks as people rushed to try out the new mechanics pushed in set two. Then in the middle of the week we saw a glut of item-based control decks take off and dominate the ladder. And then, likely as a response to all the item shenanigans, we saw hyper-aggressive decks popping up, hoping to close out games before the long-term value of items could payoff.
It is obviously still early in the life of the Floodborn meta but already we are seeing a healthy variety of decks on ladder. No longer is it two decks dominating the meta, we now have 4 deck archetypes above 10% meta share. Hopefully over time we see a continued spread of assorted decks instead of the meta coalescing around a couple dominate archetypes.
The top decks by win rate this week are two polar opposites, Amber/Amethyst Aggro and Ruby/Sapphire Item Control. Amber/Amethyst Aggro is a hyper-aggressive build that just wants to dump their hand and quest every turn, daring their opponent to stop them before they hit 20. Ruby/Sapphire plays the long game, parlaying ink ramp and buckets of card draw to always have resources to deal with anything the opponent plays.
Other popular decks on ladder were the tried-and-true Amber/Steel "Steelsongs" deck and the Amethyst/Ruby Control pairing. Amethyst/Ruby has been modified a bit to fit in the bounce package, giving it a way to close out games quickly. While Amber/Steel Midrange, already a very strong deck to begin with, needed only a couple small additions to keep pace with the rest of the field.
All in all, it was a fun week of exploration and experimentation and I am looking forward to seeing where things go from here. So without further ado, here is the full tier list after the first week of Rise of the Floodborn:
|Ruby/Sapphire Item Control
|Amber/Steel Songs Midrange
|Amber/Emerald Discard Aggro
Standing atop the tier list in week one of Rise of the Floodborn is Amber/Amethyst Aggro. This deck was discovered a bit later in the week, leading to a lower meta share, but its win rate landed it at the top of the charts. Aggro decks tend to do well at the beginning of new meta games and this deck is no exception.
The goal of the deck is simple, slam a bunch of low-cost, high-lore characters on the board and get to 20 lore as fast as possible. Lilo - Making a Wish, Maleficent - Biding Her Time and Pinocchio - Star Attraction all work really well for that strategy. We also have the new Cinderella - Ballroom Sensation as a valuable card in this archetype as she can come down on turn 1 and then sing Friends on the Other Side or Be Our Guest on turn 2.
To round things out, we have the Amethyst bounce package. This gives us more draw in the form of Merlin - Rabbit but also lore gain from hand with Merlin - Goat. With just an Arthur - Wizard's Apprenctice on board and a Goat in hand, we can gain 5 lore on just 4 ink. This sort of play will often be how you close games out against opponents after they have finally cleared all your low-cost characters.
This list from top 20 ranked Pixelborn player RMB is a great example of just how low to the ground this deck archetype is with nothing above 4-cost and the majority of the deck consisting of 1 and 2 drops. Yet, he notes that the deck has a 75% winrate over 60 games. ME NO TRADE, ME GO QUEST.
Ruby/Sapphire Item Control
Another deck that took a bit to be discovered was the Ruby/Sapphire Item Control deck. But once it did take off, it became very popular very fast. It has quickly established itself as a strong option for ladder play as it boasts a high win rate and a 14% meta share.
Much of the deck's power lies in two cards: Pawpsicle and Hiram Flaversham - Toymaker. These two combined make for the most efficient card draw engine in the game. With Flaversham on board and a Pawpsicle in hand, you can pay only 1 ink to draw three cards. And because of the recursion built into the deck with Nick Wilde - Wily Fox and Tamatoa - So Shiny!, you can keep doing that many times in a game.
This leads to massive hands and the ability to answer just about any scenario with your plethora of control options. Those control options include all the usual good stuff like Be Prepared and Maleficent - Monstrous Dragon and Let It Go. But also some new options like Scar - Vicious Cheater and Lady Tremaine - Imperious Queen. These cards all allow us to control the board and setup for our win condition.
Our win condition in this deck (provided we haven't just completely ran our opponent out of resources, which happens quite a bit) is the big crab himself, Tamatoa. With the amount of cheap items we run, it is easy to boost Tamatoas lore count to some obscene numbers. I've been in games where this monstrous decapod quests for 10 lore a turn!
The list we are highlighting for this build is one by top 10 Pixelborn player Zef. His list includes all the usual good stuff but recently he added Noi - Orphaned Thief. Noi is a great inclusion against the aggressive decks, letting you efficiently deal with their board early on. Once you get her ability active, she also becomes hard to remove so plays well into any direct damage removal like you'd see in Steelsongs. Overall, this feels like a fairly refined deck list and I expect it will become the go-to choice for Ruby/Sapphire players.
Emerald/Steel has moved on from its mostly aggro lists in The First Chapter to a more midrange build in Rise of the Floodborn. These lists have been performing quite well on ladder, only a small step down from the tier 1 decks in win rate, while also maintaining a healthy meta share.
One of the cards carrying this deck is Emerald's new legendary, Beast - Relentless. This card can single-handedly win you a game if your opponent leaves it up. The ability to trigger his effect multiple times, thanks to all your ping effects, makes him capable of questing for 6 or more lore in one turn. Because of this ability, cards that ping like Hans - Thirteenth in Line and Robin Hood - Capable Figher are very important pieces of the deck.
These cards also turn on the other Emerald bomb that this deck runs, Cheshire Cat - From The Shadows. His ability, paired with the ping effects, help you control the board in the late game. And he's a solid quester with 2 lore and Evasive.
For card draw, the deck has the option of going all-in with A Whole New World or taking advantage of the other Beast legendary, Beast - Tragic Hero. The wheel effect is better if you want to run a more aggressive version and the Beast card would be better for one that leans more towards late game control.
The list we are spotlighting this week is one that Jay Roberts used to place top 4 at TCG Expo in Liverpool. This version of the deck runs the Beast legendary and Jafar - Dreadnought as card draw. It also runs Ring the Bell for even more removal that synergizes with your pings. All in all, a list that should serve you well on ladder, especially when going up against all those aggressive decks.
Amber/Steel Songs Midrange
The classic Amber/Steel combination continues to top the charts in meta share and boasts a strong win rate as well. This deck was the most popular in The First Chapter and looks to have picked up right where it left off.
While much of the deck is carried over from the last meta, there were a few key new additions to the list. Notably, the deck now has access to more powerful song cards in Let the Storm Rage On, Strength of a Raging Fire and World's Greatest Criminal Mind. All of these additions make Ariel - Spectacular Singer even better, as she rarely misses her draw now. The deck also added a new singer to the roster in Cinderella - Ballroom Sensation, who can sing many of the deck's songs as early as turn 2.
The singer Cinderella also serves, in combination with Cinderella - Knight in Training as a Shift target for Cinderella - Stouthearted. The Floodborn Cinderella makes for a great late-game threat. Her ability, paired with your songs, allows you to keep your opponent's board clear of threats. And then once the board is locked down, she can quickly close a game out, as she quests for 3 lore.
We are highlighting a list here by Aaron Parsons that took 1st place in a 32-person tournament in at TCG Expo in Liverpool. In addition to the above staples, the list also runs 2 copies of Benja - Guardian of the Dragon Gem to help with the matchup against item decks. It also runs a copy of Beast - Tragic Hero for even more card draw. It's a solid list and one that should have a good matchup spread against the meta.
Sapphire/Steel Item Ramp
The Sapphire/Steel pairing has also seen success on ladder, although it is not as prevalent as the Sapphire/Ruby pairing. It also remains to be seen how this deck will perform in tournament settings. It feels like there is potential with this ink pairing, but nothing has been settled on as far as an optimized list.
One thing is for sure, this deck archetype will certainly look to take advantage of the insane draw engine of Pawpsicles and Flaversham. You can even slot in copies of A Whole New World to basically never run out of cards. With all that card draw, you can ramp very quickly to get to your big bombs.
For end-game options, we likely want both Cinderella - Stouthearted and Tamatoa - So Shiny!. With so much ramp and card draw, we can also probably slot in Belle - Strange But Special. Control the board early, ramp and then drop characters that can quest for 3, 5, or even more lore, seems like a winning strategy.
This is a list I put together and have been playing on ladder to decent success. The ramp pairs really well with all the draw options. You can get to high ink totals quickly and then start threatening some very high lore amounts per quest your with Belles and Tamatoas combined with Eye of the Fates. With some more refinement, this deck archetype could definitely be a top meta contender.
The deck that stormed out of the gate as Rise of the Floodborn released was Amethyst/Ruby Bounce. This was one we highlighted early in the week as a powerful deck build and it ended up being the second-most popular deck on the Pixelborn ladder. It also performed well at the 100+ person tournament in Germany last weekend, taking 4 of the top 8 spots.
The deck takes advantage of the Amethyst bounce tools to generate a lot of card draw and lore. Merlin - Rabbit and Merlin - Goat are your bounce targets with Madam Mim - Snake and Madam Mim - Fox doing the bouncing. And then Arthur - Wizard's Apprenctice also fills the role of a bounce tool and lore generator in one.
As for Ruby's contributions, the deck includes some of their best control tools such as Be Prepared, Maui - Hero to All, and Maleficent - Monstrous Dragon. It also takes full advantage of Lefou - Instigator, readying important characters to keep them safe from challenges on your opponent's turn.
The deck we are highlighting is a list from streamer Jebas, who has used it to great success climbing the ladder. In addition to the above core cards, he has added the new Floodborn options in Yzma - Scary Beyond All Reason for more bounce enablers, and Lady Tremaine - Imperious Queen for more removal. Interestingly, he also included 3 copies of The Sorcerer's Spellbook to add some inevitability to the end game.
Amber/Emerald Discard Aggro
Last deck to make it onto the tier list is the Amber/Emerald Discard deck. This build had the distinction of topping the 100-person German tournament and has managed to carve out a decent meta share. The deck doesn't have the best win rate on ladder though, largely down to poor matchups against two of the most popular decks out there, Amethyst/Ruby and Ruby/Sapphire.
The deck takes full advantage of Prince John - Greediest of All, utilizing him to double up the card advantage of all your discard cards. Because he has Ward, you can keep him on the board gaining value for you turn-after-turn (provided you can dodge Grab Your Sword from your Steel opponents).
In addition, the deck runs a full gamut of aggressive lore gainers such as Flynn - Charming Rogue and Enchantress - Unexpected Judge. It also looks to capitalize on the ability of Flynn Rider - His Own Biggest Fan to push for big lore once it has exhausted its opponent's hand. And if that doesn't work, there is the always-reliable Kuzco - Temperamental Emperor.
The list here is one I have been running with success on ladder. It's a switch of the tournament winning list, swapping out Mickey Mouse - True Friend with Doc - Leader of the Seven Dwarfs. I am happy to lose the 1 Strength for the ability to cheat out a bit more ink each turn Doc manages to stay alive and quest.
Amber/Ruby continues to perform well online yet has a very small meta share and no real tournament play to speak of. Is this ink combination a sleeper hit still waiting to be discovered? Or does it just not have the quality to compete at the highest levels?
The natural pairing for these two inks after Rise of the Floodborn released is a self-damage/healing build. We can take advantage of Ruby's self-damage options like Mother Gothel - Withered and Wicked and Teeth and Ambitions and then use Amber's heal cards like Rapunzel - Gifted with Healing to get our characters back up to full health.
This list from MTG pro Valentin Proutiere looks to do just that. It also includes a song package with Ariel - Spectacular Singer and the Amber song cards, Be Our Guest and Hakuna Matata. As a win condition, we play Shere Khan - Menacing Predator to give us a way to burst for additional lore gain.
One way to punish all these hyper efficient draw engines is by attempting to deck out your opponent. In Lorcana, if you are forced to draw cards when you have none left in your deck, you instantly lose the game. A deck whose main win condition is to force our opponent to draw through their whole deck is called a "mill" deck, named after a card in Magic: The Gathering. The Amethyst/Steel list that has popped up in small numbers on ladder looks to do just that.
For this strategy, we need ways to remove our opponent's stuff and stuff to force them to draw. Yzma - Scary Beyond All Reason is the perfect solution as it does both in one. We also, of course, run the ultimate option for forcing our opponent to draw cards, A Whole New World.
This list from Zef is, by his own admission, a rough draft of an Amethyst/Steel mill deck but it looks pretty good to me. The Magic Broom - Bucket Brigade is an especially smart inclusion, as it lets you put cards back into your deck so you don't end up decking yourself out! Give it a try and see if you can make those Ruby/Sapphire decks draw so much they lose the game.
And that does it for the first meta report for Rise of the Floodborn! We have many more weeks ahead of us, but already we are seeing a definite hierarchy of decks. It will be interesting to see how things develop from here, especially at the tournament scene as we have a number of big tournaments on the horizon. For now though, enjoy the deck lists and good luck in your games!