There were a lot of cool decks and great cards this weekend, but when we look back there are a few cards that defined this weekend and how the tournament played out as we led up to Koma’s crushing victory.
Not every deck ran the double socketed inspire troop, but those that did far overperformed the field. We saw Vazrael wreck people in Day 1 with multiple damage triggers, while HEX World Champion Koma was able to leverage Spellshield in his matchups to keep his troop base on the table while he shoved threats down his opponent’s throats. While (SPOILER!) Azurefate isn’t the only double socketed card on this list, it certainly is one of the most important ones in the metagame today.
Maybe Carnasaurus didn’t have the most targets in the world, but it was used to great effect by two of the top 4 competitors in their matches. Almost more importantly was the force projection that Carnasaurus gave. The 4th most played card, the 2/2 succeeded in scaring off all the Mono Ruby decks from the tournament and keeping any aggro deck from even showing up.
Look, interrupts are always going to have a place in a TCG. Countermagic is easily the best we have in terms of flexibility and cost. As players have figured out the format throughout the Invitational Qualifier season, Countermagic has gotten better and better as the format continued to define itself. That was certainly on display in this tournament, as 5 decks chose to run the 3 cost answer to anything, while another 4 decks instead went down the Rutherford Banks route to ensure that even a late Countermagic can be defeated by bringing back their troop with a single activation.
#2: Spiderling Egg
A testament to being a purely digital TCG, one of the most important cards for the weekend was a card that you can’t even put in your deck from the Card Manager. Cyriius ran over the competition on the way to a 4-0 day one on the back of timely Spiderling swarms. In the slow, grindy metagame of the Invitational we saw that filling the opponents decks was less a case of RNG and more a case of awaiting the inevitable. On the draft side, we saw JadiimJedi move into Vennen and end up with some ridiculous Spiderling chains. Watching the crowd count to 7 was one of the highlights of the draft.
Damage and Lifedrain. Flight and Quick. Flight and Spellshield. We saw so many variations on Arborean Rootfather, and that’s just in starting game ones. It doesn’t matter if you turn it into another card early (with a digital-only bonus of cost reduction!) or hold it until later as a windmaker punch, Arborean Rootfather is arguably the best card in the game and proved itself throughout the weekend as a cornerstone of the decks in the finals.