It's been 2 weeks since the April Meta Tier List, so I figured I'd at least revisit (but perhaps not give a full tier list) of what the meta is looking like now since the balance patch that nerfed Shuri. I'd like to start out by noting that the biggest change (while really not unexpected at all) in said Shuri nerf gives some amount of validation to our tier list that listed Shuri as an A+ deck (which was based on the win and play rates relative to other decks). While Lockjaw was nerfed in some capacity as well, I do not think it was a huge hit (decks that ran it still do, decks that don't still don't).
Adding to this, our A- tier had 3 decks - DarkhawkDino, SandmanRamp, and Thanos. Two of these decks (Darkhawk and Sandman) are now the top 2 played decks after the Shuri nerf hit. Both of said decks also support a solid win and cube rate (best in some capacity, though some decks with very low sample-size playrates are technically ahead). Thanos is still being seen, but is being split across multiple variations, so it is hard to link data.
All that said, in the current meta, there are 2 other forces that must be acknowledged with quite high playrates - Galactus and Patriot.
Let's pause and talk about what data we should look at to be representative of the meta. I believe there are 3 reasonable considerations:
At rank 100+, Agatha farm has the highest playrate at 9.51% (at time of writing). This is clearly people looking to farm season pass experience for more rewards, letting Agatha play out the game so they just have to hit end turn. It follows logically from here that others may want to farm boosters for cards they want to upgrade (which may be forfeiting on turns 3 or 4). I know some number of people want to use the highest ranked players...but that just really skews the data. On top of that, the sample size is significantly lower.
On the other hand, if we compare the 80-100 and "All" data, we see the the same top-4 decks in the same order, but they all have a higher percentage representation in the 80-100 grouping. In the "All" data, we can still see Agatha farm creeping in the top-10 on playrates as well as 2 other net negative cube gain decks (haha, one of which is negative). The end takeaway is I am generally going to default to rank 80-100 data for what I say from here on out, as I feel it is the most representative of a competitive or semi-competitive meta that we can see (realistically 60-80 and 40-60 look similar, 20-40 has a significant change in composition).
So let's talk about these top-4 decks.
K, gotta say it - I hate this name. Sometime last summer, I believe I was the one that pioneered this idea on the snap.fan community discord under the name of WetSand, back when Sandman was a sad [4/1]. Anyway, the idea is virtually the same. Sandman's buff made Electro a better option than it was, which in turn also made Aero better (a more reliable turn-4 Sandman made a turn5 and/or 6 Aero better). Aero is still good in this deck, by the way. A sample deck looks something like this:
I am missing 2 cards, and am not saying this is the final best list, but it is a core for the deck. It is obviously strong versus decks that want to vomit cards on later turns, but may lose cubes for "free wins". It is decidedly a strong list, regardless.
I mentioned Dino Darkhawk above. Realistically, there's a few variations on this general idea, but Dino is not actually required. An example list is as follows:
The deck looks for some key overlaping synergies:
- Mystique wants more than 1 targe to copy, hence we added Dino.
- Zabu wants multiple 4-drops to discount, hence the other 4-drops, Rock Slide buffing Darkhawk.
- Agent Coulson helps both Dino and gains potential value from Zabu.
Now, I mentioned we do not need to run Dino - there is a version of this that swaps Dino for Ronan (still a Mystique backup target) and then adds cards like Master Mold (which can deny a draw and thus buff Darkhawk as well).
We could also run Quinjet for Coulson and Sentinel, run other "add cards to hand" cards, and more. Look around, let the deck match what you enjoy and/or already own. The general idea is here, however.
I believe the Ultron varieties of this deck are the strongest. This deck has a little less flex room than some of the others perhaps, but there is still some. Onslaught, Super-Skrull, Squirrel Girl, Mr. Sinister, Brood, Valkyrie, and more are optional...but I think the difference is note huge between a lot of them, regardless. An example list is one such as this:
Please note that I did not list Debrii as optional. With Galactus being large in the meta, Debrii is one of the best counters available to this deck to counter him, while also advancing our own gameplan and hindering board space for other decks as well.
A strong deck. I hate myself for saying this, but I ended up using this to hit infinite this season...it's odd to me really. I hate the deck's existence, the stats on it aren't great..but it felt like the easiest way to hit infinite for me. Is this the best version? Probably not, but it's what I ran. It has multiple playlines with Nimrod, Destroyer, and Shuri. I definitely won games simply to a Shuri Death on the last turn that I otherwise would have lost. Who knows.
Again, look around - there are a ton of different Galactus variations out there. I tried some lists with Chavez and truly hated her in the deck, for the record.
So how do these decks fall into our tiers?
Not putting all the thought into it, but I'd put WetSand (or Doom Wave) and Zabu Darkhawk (or Darkhawk Dino) both in A tier personally at the moment.
Ultron Patriot is definitely an A- deck.
Galactus doesn't have the winrate to support being in A- even, but when one looks at the Galactus deck page specifically, every single card's individual playrate within Galactus with a playrate above 20% has a winrate that supports an A- rating. Add that to my experience, and A- feels reasonable to me even. Perhaps it's a B+ though? I'm willing to say that I do not think we have perfect data due to too many people playing different versions of the deck, and if people could actually agree on and play the "best" version, it would be an A- deck.
There are a few other minor contenders for A- quality, but are just missing the play rate to be meta defining in even a small capacity, thus they would end up in the B+/B range.
Check back in 2 weeks and we'll have a fully updated tier list with our partners at Snap Judgments for the May season tier list. Oh, and I should mention that if you want to communicate with them directly, they have their own section on the snap.fan community discord that you can chat with them!