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The March FiveShards Weekly Series Wrap-Up

This last Sunday completed our final month of the FiveShards Weekly Series 3-month event. After the weekend, we have been able to give away $1,000 a month in platinum or $3,000 total in addition to booster pack prizes. It is time to wrap up the meta for our final month and review where the final tournaments of the set 3 meta have taken us. Previous wrap-ups are here (January) and here (February).

Of note, the beginning of the series started during the $100k. The event produced a unique meta where 10 people all tried to guess, out-think, and out-play each other’s picks. So, one of our questions for this event is whether the $100k meta influenced the regular constructed meta.

Week 1

February finished with a seeming dominance by Sapphire-Wild Wintermoon control. Diamond-Wild Banks still contested it and was able to take down one of the Finales, but not both. Nine SW Wintermoon decks entered the finale fray while only five Rutherford Banks decks contested the final tournament.

The momentum of Wintermoon’s dominance carried forward into the first week of the series as both sadnessa and Guizzuno took down the EU and NA tournaments with Sapphire-Wild Wintermoon. Guizzuno’s winning deck was more devoted to answering early threats with Brown Fox Scout, Buccaneer, Carnasaurus, and four Time Ripples. sadnessa, alternatively, went with a tool-box build in which they included more 1-of cards that they could pull out at the right moments. Four different decks made the NA top 4, including CaptRalfio’s Benvolio deck while the top 8 of the EU contained 4 SW Winter Moon decks, Desp’s Zorzym, a mono-blood, and two Ruby-Wild decks.

Public decklists from this week on hexmeta

Week 2

Week 2’s turnout topped Week 1’s by five players, giving us 273 players across two tournaments; this was our second best weekend in all three months and only beat by the third week of February which hosted 181 players.

The dominance of SW Winter Moon wanes quite a bit in week 2 as, across the 12 decks we have for that weekend, only three are the traditional SW build with two others sporting some diamond to play Lanupaw, Martyr, and Pride’s Fall as well as a host of sideboard cards. NephilimArmy and MrAllStar ran identical lists for a top 8 and top 4 finish in the NA weekly.

The two decks to steal the show are Levtham’s Benvolio which wins the EU weekly and Refugee’s Zorzym to take down the NA’s weekly. Only one other new deck makes it to stardom in week 2: Phoenix runs a BD Kranok deck for a 2nd place finish in the EU series.

Public decklists from this week on hexmeta

Week 3

The decklist data for week 3 is presently spotty and hopefully will be complete in the future. In terms of the EU finishes, however, we have quite the change. No Winter Moon decks in the top 8. Two Mono-Blood decks make it to the semi-finals, but are unable to advance. In finals, Urshulgi brings forth DW Rutherford Banks, a deck that started to disappear from the weekly meta, to a strong second place finish. Urshulgi loses to a surprise Mono-Ruby deck from Phoenix. Phoenix streamed the entire tournament and hoped for a 0-1 start and an early day; however, his luck was not with him as he went on to win the event after seven rounds.

Public decklists from this week on hexmeta

Finale

The finale happened during Easter Sunday which caused a few players to miss the event, but turnout was decent with 24 players registering decks. You can find the list of players and the brackets for Europe and North America in their respective links. The public decklist of each participant is available on this spreadsheet.

Our meta breakdown in the finale:

Sapphire-Wild Winter Moon Control: 5
Ruby-Wild Ramp: 4
Ruby-Sapphire Burn: 3
Azurecannon: 3
Mono-Blood: 3
Blood-Sapphire Zorzym: 3
Blood-Diamond Midrange: 1
Mono-Diamond: 1
Mono-Sapphire: 1

We had fewer different decks this week, but the meta had certainly shifted. Winter Moon control is still the plurality favorite deck, but diamond-wild is nowhere to be found. In its place, RW ramp is in second place followed four different decks in third place. The strategies for these decks vary from the combo-kill of azurecannon, the aggro-action build of the Benvolio decks, to the slower, but powerful mono-blood and bs decks.

In all, this cyclical shift in the meta is what we should see in a healthy meta.

Europe’s Top 4:

1st – Blood-Sapphire Zorzym (Phoenix)
2nd – Sapphire-Wild Winter Moon (Heaton)
3rd – Blood-Sapphire Zorzym (Desp)
4th – Azurecannon (Letham)

North America’s Top 4:

1st – Blood-Diamond Midrange (Azzis)
2nd – Mono-blood (Thanatose)
3rd –  Ruby-Wild Ramp (CoastCity)
4th – Mono-Sapphire (sugarman)

Five Winter Moon decks entered the tournament as just over 20% of the field. Despite that, they made up 12.5% of the top 4; this was generally a bad weekend to run Winter Moon.

Final Thoughts

Over the last three months, we have been able to watch the meta evolve on a weekly basis as people build decks to beat the current meta. This type of weekly series is great for the game and encourages people to continue to innovate, revisit old ideas, and be rewarded for both good predictions and careful deckbuilding.

Since this ends our pilot of the weekly series, please let us know what you like and did not like as we evaluate prospects for the future. Your feedback will certainly help!

Thanks to everyone who has made this series fantastic. March’s turnout was the largest month of the three, so the tournament series is your go-to weekly stop to play some serious competitive constructed. As before, I want to give a special shout-out to the casting team that did the live stream of the tournament on Sunday. Covering 16 games with 32 players gave them some ample material to work with while Pentachills, Hacky, and JadiimJedi stepped up to the plate to give you coverage of this event. Second, thanks to Hex Entertainment for making the events happen and Chark for giving us the opportunity to run them. Without their help, they would not happen.

 

Michael Allen is a competitive HexTCG player, co-host of the 2 Turns Ahead podcast, and founder and moderator of the Hex Subreddit.

2 Comments on The March FiveShards Weekly Series Wrap-Up

  1. This tournament series was incredibly healthy for the game / constructed scene in my opinion. Even though cory mentioned on multiple occasions that he has big plans to “fill the schedule” of every day with hex activities in the future, we are still far from that day. If this series didn’t exist, I’m willing to bet that constructed hex would’ve been completely dead for the first 4 months of 2016.
    Set 4 might alleviate the need for such a series for a short amount of time, but I would still argue that the general interest and rapid growth of the constructed scene, would be significantly bigger if a similar Tournament was going to continue in April and on wards.
    To me it is apparent that it lies in HEXs’ best interest to support this series until they can either substitute or supplement it with other regular Tournaments of their own. (and seeing how much this series helped in compensating for the lack of official tournaments, supplementing it instead of replacing it seems the far more honorable choice)

  2. This tournament is a not less than a necessity in Hex right now. It is too good to be stopped, especially since its single elimination format. This is the only way of playing large constructed regularly, with ESL out. A huge thanks to all the fiveshards team for that. I do hope that you guys will continue with this weekly series.

    Keep up the good work !

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