Masters Tours Voyage to the Sunken City is being played this weekend. We just had a balance patch early this week so the meta is still in flux. There is a chance for the competitors to pull off something surprising. I have scoured through all the decklists in search of the rare unicorns that would bring new ideas to the meta. Are there any? Let’s see what this Masters Tour has to offer!
If you want to see some of the games yourself, the top-16 is played on Sunday and there are some Youtube drops in the mix as well. You can find the broadcast details in our Masters Tour Voyage to the Sunken City Guide.
Masters Tour Voyage to the Sunken City Meta
Overall, 362 players participate in the tournament, and all ten classes have a chance to test their mettle.
The overall meta looks like this:
- 297 Druids (138 Ramp, 125 Anacondra, 22 Beast, 9 Quest, 3 Aggro)
- 260 Demon Hunters (214 Aggro, 46 Fel)
- 258 Hunters (234 Quest, 24 Face)
- 219 Warriors (167 Control, 32 Charge, 20 Quest)
- 133 Paladins (88 Mech, 51 Control, 4 Handbuff)
- 103 Priests (94 Boar, 6 Silence, 1 Quest, 1 Dragon, 1 I have no idea what it is)
- 81 Mages (41 Naga, 27 Naga Ping, 13 Mech)
- 43 Rogues (43 Pirate)
- 33 Shamans (32 Burn, 1 Aggro)
- 11 Warlocks (8 OTK, 1 Quest, 1 Murlock, 1 Curse)
Given the weak ladder performance of Druid recently, it is a surprise that Druid is the most common class in the tournament. Of course, tournament meta (with a ban) and ladder meta are not the same, but still. In this case, the ladder meta has been a decent predictor of performance, as Druid has not been doing too well, apart from Beast Druid!
Another minor surprise is that Aggro Demon Hunter is not the most common deck. It is one of the best-performing decks though and has done better than Quest Hunter, which is the most popular deck this time.
The Most Interesting Decks From the Tournament!
What is an interesting deck, anyway? Just because a deck is rare, even unique, does not make it interesting if it cannot perform. I can build lots of decks that lose the majority of their games. What I am looking for is rare archetypes that are still able to win games, preferably more than half of them. Secondarily, I am looking for interesting tech cards in the more common archetypes that enable those decks to win more. Here is what I have found!
Xazcaz OTK Warlock
Combo decks are nowhere to be seen on the ladder nowadays, but they have had some success at Masters Tour Sunken City. Xazcaz’s OTK Warlock has had a field day against Control Warriors and Priests: near-endless Selfish Shellfish Deathrattles from Tamsin's Phylactery + Wicked Shipment + Tamsin Roame + Hellfire can mill anyone to fatigue, as long as the deck lives long enough to pull off the combo.
As for ladder performance, well. The archetype has a 3% win rate against Hunter. That is not a typo. I did not just forget the other digit. That’s three, as in single-digits. It’s bad against Quest Warrior and Aggro Demon Hunter as well, although at least it hits double-digits in those matchups. It is a precision tool if you hate control decks, but every ladder game is a dice-roll to see if you’re up against control or aggro.
Burr0 Aggro Druid
Aggro Druid has disappeared from the ladder, but Burr0 found a fair bit of success at the Masters Tour with this list. The amazing part is that the deck skips the power of Drek'Thar in favor of Wing Commander Mulverick and Crossroads Watch Post.
Crossroads Watch Post is a hilarious anti-spell tech card for board-based decks that keeps popping up in specific tournament lineups. Between all the buffs, Taunt minions, and the interesting four-drop choices, this is a deck that could be worth trying out on the ladder too.
Furyhunter Silence Priest
Silence Priest has practically disappeared from the ladder, but Furyhunter brought the unicorn to the tournament anyway. As a matter of fact, Silence Priest’s win rate against Aggro Demon Hunter on the ladder is 50%. Aggro Demon Hunter is such a tyrant that an even matchup has to be considered a success.
Unfortunately for Priest, control decks counter it even harder than they counter Aggro Demon Hunter. If you meet some Control Paladins and Control Warriors on the ladder with this, you can expect to have a bad time.
Shaxy Aggro Shaman
Bloodlust returned to the Core set in the rotation, but there have been only a few Shaman decks that make use of it. In one of the more novel decks of the tournament, Shaxy makes good use of Bloodlust to beat up slow decks. Fine, maybe that Drek'Thar also plays some minor role. Either way, this is not a deck you meet every day on the ladder and it has been doing very well in the tournament.
Cursed Face Hunter
Face Hunter is not very common on the ladder anymore, but the deck has its upsides. In particular, there is one card that is crucial for its success: Twinbow Terrorcoil. At Masters Tour Sunken City, the Face Hunters with Terrorcoil are succeeding, and the Face Hunters without it are not.
There are some really fancy synergies with Terrorcoil. For example, Piercing Shot hits the same target twice, and the second hit goes into a zero-Health target and causes the full six damage to the face. Hitting a one-Health target, therefore, becomes 11 damage for four mana! Those are some impressive numbers!
Face Hunter’s main problem on the ladder is that Aggro Demon Hunter does everything a little better. That’s a tough environment to compete in, but the deck is not dead yet.
Leta Beast Druid
Beast Druid is an archetype we saw a ton of before the rotation, but the loss of Arbor Up and Umbral Owl hit the deck hard. It is now trying to find its way back to the meta with Azsharan Gardens and Aquatic Form, and those cards are promising.
As for the rest of the deck, there is still a lot to figure out. Bottomfeeder and Sir Finley, Sea Guide feel a little weak, so there is still room for innovation. On the ladder, the win rate of the deck is at roughly 50% so it can be played. If any new breakthroughs are found, it may come back to the meta in full. In this Masters Tour, the final pieces are still elusive.
TheViper94 Control Warrior
Control Warrior is a common sight on the ladder right now, so there are limited surprises here.
What I want to emphasize about this deck is one very successful addition to the archetype: Gorloc Ravager. With Amalgam of the Deep, Sir Finley, Sea Guide, and Mutanus the Devourer in the deck, there are plenty of Murlocs to draw, and drawing cards has often been difficult for Warrior. Gorloc Ravager is the single best-performing card in the archetype in this tournament, and definitely something I expect to become common on the ladder as well, as it is not a tech card, but just a direct upgrade to the archetype.
Other than that, it’s all Control Warrior business as usual. Kazakusan is there just in case, but the deck can win without it too. In particular, Nellie, the Great Thresher in combination with Brann Bronzebeard for SIX one-cost Pirates seems to kill people even faster than treasures.
Posesi Mech Paladin
If you want to beat control decks, Mech Paladin is one of the best options out there. Just an endless supply of Mechs, many of them with Divine Shield, and eventually with tons of stats from Lightforged Cariel form such a stream of threats that no control deck can clear them all. Who needs a combo finisher when you can just exhaust control decks!
However, Mech Paladin has serious problems defending against aggro. That’s where the tech card in this Posesi’s list comes in: Blademaster Samuro. The deck can do a bunch of handbuffs, so Samuro can clear some big boards too. Don’t leave home without it. It does not miraculously turn the deck into an aggro killer, but it gives you a chance where you would otherwise have none.
Aggro Demon Hunter and Quest Hunter are quite oppressive. They’re great on the ladder, and they are strong performers in a tournament environment as well. While I did not expect to see a ton of successful off-meta decks, the more surprising part was there were hardly any unsuccessful off-meta decks in this tournament. In fact, many of the more unique decks were carefully built and had a good time in the tournament. Whether that can translate into any success on the ladder as well, only time will tell.