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Attack of the Cloned Net Decks: S3 Ruby Cup

Welcome back to another installment of Attack of the Cloned Net Decks. Piecetinker was gracious enough to write up the Diamond Cup review, but, in this episode, I am back to discuss the season 3 Ruby Cup results. Just like the Blood Cup, this tournament was run in client and Fiveshards did not collect decklists, so we only have the deck data reported on Hexmeta. The result is we only get to see the winning deck lists (5 wins and higher) rather than a view of the entire tournament. This is now the second standard format cup to take place after the core rules change, so let’s see what the top decks were:

 

Most Popular Archetypes

Rutherford Banks

DW Rutherford Banks6
BD Rutherford Banks3
DR Rutherford Banks1

Kranok

B Kranok6

Benvolio

R Benvolio3
RS Benvolio1

Cressida

RW Cressida3

Wyatt the Sapper

S Wyatt the Sapper1
BS Wyatt the Sapper1

Winter Moon

SW Winter Moon2

One Eye Open

DW One Eye Open2

Urgnock

R Urgnock1

Tetzot, Son of Omoc

RS Tetzot, Son of Omoc1

Mightsinger Alyndra

SW Mightsinger Alyndra1

Madame Anana

BD Madame Anana1

Feather Drifting

DRS Feather Drifting1

 

This time around, the most popular champion was Rutherford Banks. Even if you look at specific archetypes, DW Rutherford Banks was the most popular archetype in the tournament; however, Rutherford Banks was also played in BD and RD variants. Kranok was second most popular champion with all 6 of those players running mono-Blood Kranok. Notably, the only successful BD decks were running Rutherford Banks as their champion, rather than Kranok like we saw back in the Blood Cup. In third place, we have the Benvolio decks with 3 players running mono-Ruby Benvolio and 1 player running RS Benvolio. Finally, we have 3 players running RW Cressida, rounding out the top 4 decks, as well as a few other champions for good measure.

 

Here are the decks that had the highest average win rate by archetype:

Avg wins by Archetype

Rutherford Banks

BD Rutherford Banks7.32
DR Rutherford Banks6
DW Rutherford Banks5.65

Urgnock

R Urgnock6

Feather Drifting

DRS Feather Drifting6

Cressida

RW Cressida5.91

One Eye Open

DW One Eye Open5.55

Benvolio

R Benvolio5.67
RS Benvolio5

Winter Moon

SW Winter Moon5.48

Wyatt the Sapper

S Wyatt the Sapper6
BS Wyatt the Sapper5

Kranok

B Kranok5.26

Tetzot, Son of Omoc

RS Tetzot, Son of Omoc5

Mightsinger Alyndra

SW Mightsinger Alyndra5

Madame Anana

BD Madame Anana5

 

As a reminder, this list only shows the winner’s metagame, so the decks with 5 wins on average are on the lower end of what we can review in regards to their performance. Taking a look at the metagame in this way, we can see that Rutherford Banks was still the most successful champion; however, it was mostly thanks to the performance of the 3 BD Banks players that finshed with 7 or 8 wins on the day. There was only 1 player with mono-Ruby Urgnock (King Gabriel) and he earned 6 wins on the day. There was also 1 player with DRS Feather Drifting (HeatBlood) with 6 wins on the day. Most notably, Kranok and Benvolio were not quite as successful against the top decks as they were in the Blood Cup, with each player managing 5-6 wins on the day.

The winner of the season 3 Ruby Cup was Revolution. Revolution is a streamer and a member of the Rated Hex playtesting team.  He went undefeated in all of the Swiss rounds on his way to winning the top 8 playoff. Here’s his winning Blood Diamond Rutherford Banks list:

cardcard typequantity
Blood ShardResource10
Diamond ShardResource10
Living TotemTroop4
MartyrQuick Action4
Shard of RetributionResource4
Soul MarbleConstant4
Vampire KingTroop4
Vampire PrincessTroop4
Cerebral DominationConstant3
InquisitionBasic Action3
KillQuick Action3
Drowned Shrine of UltharArtifact2
ExtinctionBasic Action2
Pride’s FallQuick Action2
Solitary ExileConstant1

Reserves:

cardcard typequantity
Angel of DawnTroop3
Frost WizardTroop3
Hopeheart UnicornTroop3
Deathless GuardianTroop2
ExtinctionBasic Action2
Solitary ExileConstant2

… whoa!

In case you were not watching the Ruby Cup stream, I can promise you that there are no typos here. This deck is quite different from your standard build of Blood Diamond midrange, with a number of choices aimed towards beating the other midrange and control decks. I think the best choice in the deck is Martyr. With all of the Winter Moon and Rutherford Banks recurring troops from the crypt, Martyr does a great job of removing any threat permanently. The Drowned Shrine does good work against Winter Moon playing Oracle Songs, but it is also good against all of the Balthasar decks out there right now. Without Kranok’s power to draw cards, Revolution decided to play 4x Living Totem and Soul Marble to make use of extra resources. Additionally, Rutherford Banks works well with Totem and Marble because you can freely play these cards early, invest a lot of resources into them, and return the troop if your opponent destroys it with Kill or Extinction. In a metagame with Winter Moon running rampant, the Cerebral Dominations can shut off all of the opponent’s Countermagic. Perhaps most surprising of all though is Angel of Dawn in the reserves instead of the main deck. The biggest benefit to keeping Angel in the reserve is this makes Inquisition much easier to play, along with all of the other double Blood threshold cards in the deck, while still being available in reserves for aggro matchups. While I am surprised to see Cerebral Domination in the main deck, it makes sense if you are aiming to beat Winter Moon.

 

Let’s also take a look at another top 8 player’s deck, this time from Chadatog:

cardcard typequantity
Wild ShardResource12
Ruby ShardResource8
ChlorophylliaBasic Action4
CrocosaurTroop4
Howling BraveTroop4
Shard of SavageryResource4
Sylvan PerformerTroop4
Arborean RootfatherTroop3
BalthasarTroop3
Eternal SageArtifact Troop3
Eye of CreationBasic Action3
PeriwinkleTroop3
Eternal GuardianArtifact Troop2
Puck, Dream BringerTroop2
Crazed Squirrel TitanTroop1

Reserves:

CarnasaurusTroop4
Succulent CluckodonTroop4
Scorn of OberonQuick Action3
TurbulenceQuick Action2
Walking CalamityTroop2

 

We’ve seen RW Cressida before, but Chadatog earned 7 wins and there are a few wrinkles here worth pointing out. Chadatog played Crazed Squirrel Titan as Crocosaur #5 in the main deck. We saw Chadatog make good use of Crazed Squirrel Titan to take out a lone Vampire King, a situation where Crocosaur could not. Chadatgog also played 4 Sylvan Performer as a Periwinkle– of sorts. Against the Blood decks and Winter Moon control decks that put you into topdeck mode, the Performer will allow you to recover cards and help you dig deeper to your potential game winning bombs. Also notable he really does not want to lose to mono Ruby with 4 Carnasaurus and Succulent Cluckodon in his reserves.

 

For you players that like to go rogue, here’s a Ruby Diamond Rutherford Banks option that Bofedy piloted to 6-2:

cardcard typequantity
Diamond ShardResource11
Ruby ShardResource10
Angel of DawnTroop4
Her Majesty, Queen GraceTroop4
Royal FalconerTroop4
Shard of ConquestResource4
Solitary ExileConstant4
Gore Feast of Kog’TepetlBasic Action3
Lord Alexander, the CourageousTroop3
Ash HarpyTroop2
Blessing the FallenConstant2
Jags the BlademasterTroop2
Scraptech BrawlerTroop2
Spearcliff Cloud KnightTroop2
CerberusTroop1
Charge ColossusArtifact Troop1
Duplicitous DukeTroop1

Reserves:

Hopeheart UnicornTroop4
Shellsafe Sure ShotTroop4
Soul MarbleConstant4
Spearcliff Cloud KnightTroop2
Crackling BoltBasic Action1

With a lot of inspire buffs, this midrange brew has a few things going for it. Solitary Exile is a solid answer to keep troops out of play and out of the crypt. Queen Grace is able to reduce the cost of humans in play or in hand and there are quite a few of them in here. Shellsafe Sure Shot and Royal Falconer add the ability to go wide and have Gore Feast as a payoff card that can steal wins out of nowhere. The deck also has a bit of speed to keep control decks off guard in the form of Lord Alexander, Duplicitous Duke, and Ash Harpy.  Bofedy also played Soul Marble and Hopeheart Unicorn to mitigate removal from opposing players. I have to imagine he scored a few blowouts by activating Hopeheart Unicorn to protect the rest of his team and then returning the unicorn later in the match for additional value.

 

Thanks again to everyone that came and played in the Ruby Cup this season. I always have a lot of fun watching what you guys and gals play in these tournaments while shoutcasting with the Fiveshards team. We have had this set for a long time, but we are still seeing some innovations as the metagame evolves and decks have breakout performances. Rutherford Banks decks were both popular and successful on this weekend, so if you do plan on playing removal, you will be best served with some number of cards that can permanently remove the threat from the crypt. Mono Blood Kranok is still popular in the metagame, but with Kill, Extinction, and Rot Cast as your main removal choices, the Kranok deck is not as well positioned at this time. Last, but not least, the mono-Ruby decks are still out there as well; although Benvolio is having more success at the moment than the Urgnock rush decks.

In a couple of weeks, I will be playing in the first ever invitational.  Wish me luck as I try to solve that particular metagame and play on camera for my own chance at glory. If you do happen to show up at the invitational, be sure to say hi!

Hex Kickstarter backer. Contributor to 2 Turns Ahead Podcast. Invitational Qualifier. Shoutcaster for the Cup of Fate tournament series. Player formerly known as JuzamJedi.

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