The fourth season of the Rock League ended last Sunday. Almost one hundred participants battled each other over a time frame of four weeks with Rock decks. The new twist for this season was that all games were required to be played through the in-game queue, which enabled all players to make full use of reserves. The question is, what impact did this have on the meta? Just like every season I will wrap things up with a glance at what the top players played during their matches.
For those who don’t know anything about the Rock League, a quick explanation: the rock format is a constructed format where players build a 60 card deck (and 15 card reserve) that may only consist of commons and up to four uncommons. This restriction makes the format extremely budget-friendly and also opens up new and different strategies than the standard constructed format. The league is played over the course of four weeks in which players can play anyone (without the need for pairing or waiting for opponents) to accumulate points.
Let us dive right in with the winner of this season of the Rock League: “Al Sayf” also known as seyfini on the forums. He played with a couple of different decks, but in his personal opinion his Blood/Wild Bunoshi deck performed the best. Bunoshi is a champion that was added with Set 2 and it took players some time to discover how powerful this evil bunny actually is. Here is the deck:
Al Sayf’s Buno shield
Champion: Bunoshi, the Ruthless
The first thing of note is that only two uncommon cards were included—that is, the two Nelebrin Skirmisher. You could argue that there might have been room in the reserves for a card like Corrupt Harvester to play against Mono-Wild decks; there is at least some space to experiment with the reserves, if you ask me. The deck is built around the idea of using Bunoshi’s power to buff one of eight troops with spellshield. Preferably you’ll sacrifice a Darkspire Priestess, but losing your Howling Brave after you’ve already played your fatty is not a big loss either, and Moon’ariu Sensei has likewise “done his duty” once he hits the board. Because of the lack of board wipes or cards that force your opponent to sacrifice a troop in commons/uncommons, the spellshielded troop is very hard to remove. The Blood Aura is the icing on the cake and can work as a combat trick as well as a stabilizer against aggro. One thing to note is that the deck relies on getting two Wild threshold in play. Without those you pretty much can’t play any of your spellshield troops (or better; not play them with the spellshield gem active). Because of this I would have considered two Shard of Ancients to fill two available uncommon slots.
There is a variation on the deck above that also is built around spellshield but plays Ruby instead of Blood. The champion of choice is of course Lionel Flynn and Ruby gives us access to cards like Boulder Toss, Crackling Bolt and Stink Troll. Both builds have their strengths and weaknesses and it pretty much comes down to preference of removal and in the end—and swiftstrike from Ruby Aura vs lifedrain from Blood Aura.
An archetype we’ve yet to see a lot of but did surface this season was Shin’hare Tribal. Shantiton took fourth place with this deck:
Champion: Warmaster Fuzzuko
20x Wild Shard
The deck is centered around throwing troop after troop at the opponent even if it means they die. The deck has a lot of combat tricks, resulting in the ability to bluff through damage here and there and the finish off your opponent with the charge power of Fuzzuko. We see in the reserves that the deck has a lot of options to combat the popular Dwarf/Robot deck from past seasons with a playset of Nature Reigns and one copy of Compost for good measure. If shin’hare is your thing, you might want to give this deck a spin and see how it works for you.
Speaking of Dwarf/Robot, of course the deck continues to have a strong showing in the meta—despite the amount of hate some decks have in their reserves for it. Jahija was one of the players who tried their hand with the popular deck with their own version:
Jahija Dwarf / Robot
Champion: Bertram Cragraven
The deck has an extremely low curve with as many as twenty turn one-drops and feeds the ability to get huge threats out very early. The reserves includes cards to help win against Wild (Ruby Aura) or to prevent your opponent from removing your robot army (Verdict of the Ancient Kings). The deck continues to be one of the key decks to beat, but got a lot more competition this season with the addition of reserves for answers like Nature Reigns, Compost, and Imp Hoodlums.
To wrap-up the Season 4, here is the final top 32 of this season. Congratulations to all winners!
|1. Al Sayf|
The next season of the Rock League will be most likely in either July or August; it depends on when we get Armies of Myth, since I like to have a fresh format for each league. Speaking of Set 3, Hex Entertainment was nice enough to give me an exclusive spoiler just for the Rock League:
The Bloodsoaked Brawler is an aggressive troop that might push orcs into the Rock metagame. Orcs often have trouble getting past those pesky robots and often have only 1 defense. This troop will get unblockable fairly quickly and since it has a two defense it will be able to attack into 1/1 worker bots on the first swing. Couple this with a champion like Sir Giles and Blood Aura, and you have a powerhouse in the making. Whether this will be enough to warrant playing orcs is yet to be seen, but Bloodsoaked Brawler at least pushes the deck back into the conversation. In limited this might be worth taking highly, depending on the power of other troops in the set. Evasion is always good on troops, and when we think back to good ol’ Thunderbird this seems like a troop to fear. Another note I want to make is that the art on this card is just insanely awesome and highlights the art quality of Set 3.
I would like to take the time to thank once more everyone who donated to the Rock League, all the players that participated, and Hex Entertainment for their support and the exclusive spoiler.
See you in Season Five!