Curious to see which decks were the most represented and had the best records in our last tournament? Read on for more. First, let's get started with a breakdown of the decks that everyone played. Then I'll give you some quick takeaways on their results.
$100 Freeroll Tournament Metagame Breakdown
The Goat Herd is Under Attack
It's hard out there for the shepherds of Goat Format these days. As I highlighted last month in Beating Goat Control Isn't Good Enough, Goat Control is not the dominant force that it used to be. Goat Control was only 23% of the meta, tied with Anti-Meta Warriors. I actually was not expecting the huge representation from Anti-Meta Warriors.
This trend speaks a lot for the future of the Goat Format as Anti-Meta Warriors was not only the most represented deck but by far the best performing deck as well. You can see from the top decklists that Anti-Meta Warriors captured both 1st and 3rd place. These placings, however, were not a fluke. Out of the seven players who used the deck, they had a stunning cumulative performance of 21 wins and 12 losses, giving this group of players by far the best winrate in this particular tournament. Interesting enough, not a single Anti-Meta Warriors player went 0-2 drop, which was a feat that was achieved by neither Goat Control nor Thunder Dragon Chaos. These decks instead had cumulative performances of 14 wins and 13 losses for Goat Control along with 11 wins and 11 losses for Thunder Dragon Chaos.
I want to highlight Morpp's deck in particular, which was a less commonly seen spin on Anti-Meta Warriors, with 3 King Tiger Wanghu, 3 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, and 3 Blade Knight. Despite finishing in only third place, he had to go 7-2 to get there, as he was knocked into the loser's bracket after round 1. His decklist was a great "no nonsense" build, maxing out on a lot of 3-ofs in order to reduce the variance of his strategy. As I stated in my last article, I think that King Tiger Wanghu, Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, and Blade Knight form a great core for Anti-Meta Warriors, and I still believe that that is the case. All three cards are capable of delivering huge value in a variety of matchups.
However, all three major variants of the Anti-Meta Warriors strategy -- Warrior Toolbox, Tiger Stun, and Gearfried Warriors -- were represented in this tournament, and they all put up solid numbers. There are a lot of ways to build this deck, and Anti-Meta Warriors may need to start adjusting their strategy as the Goat Control players stop living in denial and realize that this is not a strategy that they can afford to ignore anymore. I personally recommend that Gravekeeper's Spies move back into the maindeck for Goat Control players as Woawa did to achieve his 4th place finish.
Chaos Results Unimpressive
Thunder Dragon Chaos put up fairly mediocre numbers. Of the six players who used the deck, two of them had winning records, two had break-even records, and two did not win a single match. While we have seen this deck put up good results in the past, it's started to become more a known factor that nearly everyone is going to be prepared for. This might be with Kycoo the Ghost Destoyer, Blade Knight, Trap Dustshoot, or Mind Control. In addition, chaos players were likely not happy to see that some Goat Control players have started to shift from Abyss Soldiers back to Asura Priest, which is a much harder threat for them to deal with.
Two Chaos Control players entered this event, both using the "Angel Chaos" variant. Both of them were eliminated early, for a cumulative record of 1 win and 4 losses. Both decklists had some interesting maindeck choices such as Jowgen the Spiritualist, Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, and Gravekeeper's Spy. I still believe that Chaos Control is more viable that people give it credit for, especially seeing as the deck tends to have an easier time against Anti-Meta Warriors than Thunder Dragon Chaos does. However, these players will need to perhaps reevaluate some of their card choices if they want to be the winner's circle next time.
Interestingly enough, Chaos Recruiter did not see any representation in this tournament. However, there was one Thunder Dragon Chaos deck that played 2 copies of Mystic Tomato and Shining Angel, if you count that. I believe that the classic aggressive version of Chaos Recruiter with Trap Dustshoot and Creature Swap has the potential to perform well. Chaos Recruiter is yet another deck that has a solid gameplan against Anti-Meta Warriors. Perhaps you're starting to see why Anti-Meta Warriors were able to perform so well in this tournament? Their hardest matchups were barely present.
Alt-Win Fails to Get Wins
All of the alt-win decks saw little representation in this tournament. Looking at the sidedecks, most players were pretty prepared for them. Players have stopped complaining about getting burned or combod to death and have instead started sidedecking cards like Royal Decree, Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell, Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, Cyber-Stein, and Anti-Spell Fragrance. Be sure to read Sidedecking Against Alt-Win, Burn, Combo in Goat Format if you're still struggling with these matchups.
Among the two Reasoning Gate Combo players, two Empty Jar players, and one Burn player, they collectively only won 1 match and lost 10! It appears that alt-win will not be "ruining" Goat Format anytime soon. However, some of their underperformance may be attributed to inexperienced pilots. These decks require a totally different set of skills to use than the other decks in the format.
Gravekeepers Are a Sleeper Pick
Two Gravekeeper players entered this tournament. One of them went 0-2 drop, and the other performed quite well. Jordan Shapiro finished in the top6 with a record of 5-2. However, his record doesn't tell the full story. He was given a match loss in round 1 due to a miscommunication in which he failed to contact his opponent and did not show up for his match. In terms of the matches that he actually played, he went 5-1, eventually falling victim to Woawa's Goat Control with maindecked Gravekeeper's Spies.
I highlight this result because I believe that Gravekeepers are an underrated pick in this metagame. Their hardest matchup is arguably Goat Control, which is far from unwinnable and is getting less common as the meta diversifies. Gravekeepers are notorious for giving chaos deck a hard time, which were a combined 27% of the meta. They're great at beating up on combo with Necrovalley if that make a resurgence and have solid defensive monsters to fend off Anti-Meta Warriors.
I expect the meta to evolve further as we start holding more tournaments in the future. If you want to get a piece of our future cash prizes, you cannot afford to be behind on the metagame. I would recommend participating in ranked play to test out new strategies and get a feel for what's popular.
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