Yesterday, the latest season of the Rock League came to an end. The season was a huge success in all regards; we had 170 players playing more than 550 matches and could count a lot of first-time players among them. Besides the great interest from the community, we also received various donations from various community members. Thanks to everyone who donated—you guys “rock” and this wouldn’t be possible without you!
The meta of the first season was defined by basically two archetypes. Most apparent and dominant was the Wild Spellshield deck that ran Boulder Brute in combination with the Spellshield Gem. The deck often splashed a second shard like Sapphire or Blood for powerful pump effects like Blood Aura, Sapphire Aura or the ability from Feather Drifting Downriver. The deck was so meta defining that you either ran this deck or you built your deck around beating it. The winner of the previous season did exactly that with a powerful Blood Sapphire control deck to counter the meta:
Hexgo’s Blood Sapphire Control
Champion: Zared Venomscorn
As you can see his deck runs a lot of ways to gain (virtual) card advantage against his opponent. The Darkspire Priestess and Giant Corpse Fly will be able to trade favorably against aggressive decks and bring down the beats against decks that focus more on the late game. Resolving a Corrupt Harvester late game and protecting it with Countermagic is often enough to drive the game home.
Before the start of the current season there were a lot of voices that asked for a ban of Boulder Brute and maybe even Countermagic. Rather than banning both those cards, I decided that the better course of action would be to unban Bertram. This would be the last season with only Set 1 and unbanning Bertram would both keep the meta fresh and most likely challenge the previous decks for their number one spot. Besides, having no banlist would keep the format more accessible to new players.
So how did the decision turn out? Did Bertram take over the meta like some people feared? Let’s look at some statistics:
- Bertram was played a total of 126 times against other champions
- Bertram won 86 (68%) of those games (lost 40; 32%)
- Bertram was played 203 times (19%)
- Zared had the best win ratio against Bertram (48%)
(Note that the numbers are based on reported champions. Therefore, the numbers might differ from the reality—but I don’t think they are far off.)
From this we can deduct that Bertram is a main force of the meta with a very good win ratio of 68%. His worst matchup is Zared where the win-loss ration comes close to 50%. I think it’s fair to say that, even though Bertram and the associated robot deck is most likely the best deck in the format, the deck is not unbeatable. One of the possible builds of this deck was played by Rook:
Rook’s Mono Sapphire Volcannon
Champion: Bertram Cragraven
Artifacts / Constants (11)
23x Sapphire Shard
Rook went for a mono sapphire approach to the robot deck. This gives the deck a very consistent feel and makes Peek basically a tutor in the late game. He runs the full set of Volcannons, which is the main win condition in the deck. Don’t underestimate the Construction Plans: War Hulk, though; in combination with the Charge Bot, there could be a 5/5 attacking as soon as Turn 4.
With Set 2 on the horizon and the possible inclusion of reserves, the meta hopefully will adjust itself without the a need for bans. But even in this season players were able to succeed with other decks:
Khendral’s Mono Sapphire Tempo
Champion: Wyatt the Sapper
24x Sapphire Shard
Khendral’s deck tries to out-tempo his opponent with aggressive troops and the help of cards like Time Ripple and Buccaneer. His deck can also play a strong end-game because of his Cerulean Mentalist / Turreted Wall combo and Countermagic. Again, Peek plays the role of a late game tutor to find the right card.
As you can see, Sapphire is a very strong shard to play and has a lot of options to build different decks with that shard alone. Other shards can be very powerful as well though—take Cernz’s Mono Diamond deck for example:
Cernz’s Mono Diamond Midrange
24x Diamond Shard
Cernz went for Diamond because it has a lot of great options for different situations. The Quick Strider is an excellent card against aggressive decks and Noble Citizenry can make any troop a huge threat. Diamond also offers a very strong suite of removal in the form of Inner Conflict and Repel. Cernz played the Chimera Guard Outrider as his uncommon—an interesting choice, but it apparently worked out for him.
To officially conclude Season 2 of the Rock League, let me post the Top 32 players. Congratulations to everyone who ranked so high, and well done!
So what about Season 3? After some consideration, I have decided not to have a new season in December. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the most important is that we are on the brink of the release of a new set. I know that most people are very excited about this and I believe that a lot players will be busy exploring the new set leaving little time to play in the Rock League. I am not entirely sure when the next Season will start; I was first aiming for the first week of January, but might postpone it until the second half of January or later. The reason for this is that we’re also expecting PvE to hit somewhere around the same time. This leads to the question of whether we can allow PvE cards in the Rock League or not (I would like to!) So for now I can only say: Yes, Rock League Season 3 is definitely coming back! As for when, I’ll be sure to announce as soon as a decision is made.
To wrap things up things up on a high note, Hex Entertainment has supplied me with a special treat for you guys! I have here a spoiler for a new uncommon card from Shattered Destiny. We’ve seen the card before during GenCon, but it’s good to revisit the final, confirmed version and see it in full glory. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Fierce Warlord:
Now this two-drop has a hefty shard requirement of two shards, most likely making it a card you would prefer to play in a mono-Ruby deck. Its effect is pretty powerful, though. Most of the times you don’t want to play this on turn 2, but sometimes creating a big dude early in the game is just what you need to run your opponent over. I can see the Warlord in a deck like the one below:
Mono Ruby Aggro
23x Ruby Shard
Ridge Rider is a new card from Set 2 as well, and it’s a must-include for this deck—it’s a 1/1 for 1 resource that becomes a 2/2 as long as you have another Orc. Since Fierce Warlord is an orc herself, this would make the Ridge Rider a 3/3 when Fierce Warlord enters play. Not bad for a one-drop. The rest of the cards are basically your typical aggressive shell.
With a bit of luck you would be dropping three one drops in the first two turns and then playing your Fierce Warlord on turn three. With the spare resource you could either play Burn or Suppresive Fire to get blockers out of your way and hit for 9 damage. That’s quite a chunk of health on Turn 3! I feel that we will see Fierce Warlord make an appearance in one shape or another in the next season, so make sure you remember it when you are building your decks next season!
I would like to thank everyone for another awesome season of the Rock League! Thanks so much for playing, and keep an eye on this site and the official forums for news about Season 3. See you then!