UK meta after SC season

View previous topic View next topic Go down

UK meta after SC season

Post by markdrive on Mon 30 Mar - 20:25

Ciao a tutti
SC season is officially concluded Smile I wanted to post some observation

1) some of the best T1 decks in the world originated from the UK in the last 3 months. I'm thinking:
-hod mander (wedge)
-stark aa (wamma)
-bara maester (vince)
2) I don't think anyone has one more than one SC - does this mean that the meta is very levelled or that Wedge and Wamma (our best players) have not travelled enough?
3) what happened to Martell? I haven't seen any Martell deck in the top2...

Thoughts? Comments?
avatar
markdrive

Posts : 75
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by MrDav on Mon 30 Mar - 20:29

I haven't played Martell since Stahleck, so...
avatar
MrDav

Posts : 30
Join date : 2015-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by markdrive on Mon 30 Mar - 21:26

True that-we are waiting to see your version of doran solar Smile
avatar
markdrive

Posts : 75
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by Vince on Mon 30 Mar - 21:44

Well I don't know the UK meta very well, I can't really talk about its qualities and its impact on the World. So I'll start withwhat I think of it after the SC season.

First, do we have somewhere a list of the winners of UK's SCs and ther House/agenda ?

To be frank (or Franc? muahahaha Very Happy). If we can have information about these it would be very interesting. This SC's season was marked by the new FAQ released around the middle of it. Sort of "banning" Mel's Favor +harrenhal and some Danny Frenzy, 2 of the most represented decks at the time. Which means that the meta had to find new tier leaders. This would be the question I'd asked at the end of this season: from what we saw, what would be the new Tier leaders?

Why not try to give our personal rankings? I'll go with mine

1- Stark Stark
2- Lannister Lannister
3- Targaryen Targaryen
4- Greyjoy Greyjoy
5- Baratheon Baratheon
6- Martell Martell

This is based on my personnal experience throughout this season. I'll start with what was the most easy choice for me: Martell. I know they are supposed to have a very strong build at disposal with the classic NA Quentyn GG, but I didn't see it, or it didn't really passed the cut as far as I can tell. I think it's more due to the lack of players than the lack of strength, but still for this season they would be 6th in UK. Though Martell is behind for me, I'm under the impresssion that the 5 other houses are really close to each other, so please take the following at a poor attempt to separate houses that look quite even for me.

Now Baratheon, well they would have been dominant at the start of the season, we saw James coming with a strong variant of the abused Mel's Fav+harrenhal thing. I sincerely think the FAQ has been a huge blow to them (and it was a good thing), I'm not saying they are worth nothing, simply that they are back into the herd. It's quite probable also that players got a bit tired of it and didn't want to play it that much.

When it comes to Greyjoy I'm a bit more annoyed. I like this house a lot, but haven't really played/built something with it in a long time now. Despite Craven's result in Rayleigh, I feel like they are behind, though Marco/Craven may prove me wrong soon. It's just that for me they lack these very strong cards you can find in other houses, and on top of that, the other houses now have an "easy" access the GJ's core mechanics through Harrenhal or the Eyrie for dedicated builds. And they are simply still very hurt by Harrenhal for me...

It was uneasy to place the Targaryen here. Though they don't really have a dominant archetype (apart from the DWDW?) they have some very dominant cards (with Danny still shining among the usuals). They did not seem to have the edge but they are still there, or the vision I have of them is not yet hurt enough to place them further down.

I must say the Lannisters are doing pretty well at the moment. In the end the easy access to some very efficient draw cards and still some of the best characters of the game plays for them. They are the house that can adapt the fastest to these metas where thing are not settled for the moment, huge draw and this soft control allowing their iconic characters to shine at their best. But I'm really not sure this will last. I don't see their strong weapon at the moment (apart from CA yes).

And I must say Stark is the house that left me with the strongest impression. The A&A is brutal, all their big armies ruling the tables along with some good CA and Meera-Im-Cheated-to-the-core-and-I-know-it Reed. They have very good location/attachment control, still the very powerful and nearly free No quarter and so the allrounder Meera. A bit like the lannister they have this adaptability that shines in not settled meta, but they have this brutal aggro touch for them, that really makes it impressive, at least for me.

Here would be for a quick overview of the our meta post this SC season, please do not forget that I base that only on what I saw through a few matches with at most a dozen players. It would be great if somone could compile the list of winners/house/agendas in the UK for the SCs Smile.

Coming back to the impact of the UK meta. I sincerely doubt we can get the merit of an "impact". I mean Wedge clearly deserves all the credit for his deck and his performance, don't take me wrong, it's just that for me it more highlights the adaptability of the Lannisters, than a real new archetype/build coming to the meta. Same for Stark A&A though this archetype still has to prove itself on the higher stages (like Wedge did). The bara Maester could be an archetype, but it's not really new, though It's the first that really performs. But as I said above, even if I took part in the firsts versions of the build, Laplante deserves the credit for it, he optimized it and played it really well with some build choices that made the difference. What I want to say here is that, even if our meta has an overall good to strong level, we are still very far from the best in Europe. Even James and Wedge who should be our brightest stars (yup Smile ), and could navigate in the same waters as the best in Stahleck, are still clearly behind the likes of Aioria, Tarkin, Trigo, and all (and I may include Laplante among them) for me.

Voilà voilà Smile. Please don't take this wrong, it's just that there are a lot of fish in the Sunset Sea and we are still very small there ^^. And do not forget, it's just the opinion of someone that barely knows the meta he is in, I'm likely completely wrong ^^. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that though Smile.
avatar
Vince
Admin

Posts : 163
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by JCWamma on Mon 30 Mar - 23:28

Thanks for the praise Marco, but I think I'll agree with Vince here. I'd personally put Wedge as the best British player by a bit of a distance (call it modesty if you want, I'll call it "he beats me when we play and that seems like a pretty good metric"), and with the greatest respect to him I don't think he's as good as the better Europeans such as those Vince mentioned.

I think there're a few reasons for that. Firstly, we're still quite an insular collection of different metas, for some reason. Obviously I travel and so do others on occasion, and for big events like the nationals and Blackwater we can draw crowds, but broadly the south-east tournaments are contested by the Paramours, the North-East (and beyond) tournaments by the Newcastle, Boro, Sheffield and Scottish metas, Stoke obviously having (at least last year) a large meta but barely any of them travelling, and so on. Tagore and I were discussing the best Stark players in the UK a month or so back, and he was genuinely surprised that I said Booch and Matt Hall. I get why he disagreed - personally I think they own the house in the UK, but they never travel anywhere outside of Stoke (and Nationals, where Booch's HoD Gates of Winterfell deck 'arrived' globally and Matt Hall went undefeated across swiss and cut until the top 4 where he would've won if he hadn't accidentally revealed the wrong "...to the wall" plot on a critical turn). Maybe if these guys went to Stahleck we'd have more of an international reputation? This also goes for some of the Northerners - the likes of Wedge and Josh will travel all over the place, but a guy like Kostas, who anyone who's played will almost certainly agree is one of the best players in the UK, I don't think he's travelled further south than Sheffield? What about Matt Cannon, who made the final 4 of the OCTGN tourney with Night's Watch?

Secondly, as a country we're quite 'young' when it comes to this game. Now granted this is far from a watertight excuse - the Dutch meta is significantly younger, yet they hold claim to the reigning European champion - but compared to the Spanish, Italian, French and Greek metas (amongst others) we are at a disadvantage when it comes to experience, with one or two exceptions like Tagore.

Thirdly, we're not the most 'loyal' of groups when it comes to houses. I know I for one find the idea of only playing a single house intolerable - it's like throwing out 5/6ths of my cards! - but when an already-gifted player like Aioria spends all his time only playing one house, of course he's going to become supreme with that house in a way someone who only devotes one-sixth of the time will not.

Off the top of my head (and apologies if I miss anyone), the following people have won SCs in the UK this season:

Me (Bara/NA/Narrow Escape)
Vince (Targ/Conquest/Bungled Orders)
Marco (Greyjoy/HoD/S&D?)
Bambi (Lanni/DW/Castellan)
Ryan (Bara/DW/?)
Wedge (Greyjoy/HoD/Fear of Winter)
Becky (Stark/A&A/Fury)
Even (Bara/NA/?)
Kostas (Not sure, but I think he won a bye somewhere so I'm guessing he won a tournament!)
Matt (Stark/NW/S&D)

I feel like I've missed a couple there, but hopefully I've got most of them at least Smile.
avatar
JCWamma

Posts : 63
Join date : 2015-02-05
Age : 28
Location : Hertford, UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by markdrive on Mon 30 Mar - 23:44

On the houses:
-since the last FAQ targ and bara have been definitely penalised - restricting Dani and Mel's favour nerfed the two strongest deck in the meta (bara na and targ bs)
-this has also had a huge impact on lanni and stark (and martell) - two houses that were literally terrorized by dany (stark) and favour (lanni)
-greyjoy are kinda in between. I do think there hasn't been a lot of great new cards for greyjoy lately, however I also think they are uniquely positioned to answer some of the strongest decks in the meta.

On players-I'm more optimistic than Vince. I wouldn't be surprised if a UK player will win a major international tournament. You don't need to have a huge meta to have good results...look at the Swedish guys Smile
avatar
markdrive

Posts : 75
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by markdrive on Mon 30 Mar - 23:56

James, I found really interesting your comment on the traveling. Do you think people will do it for the regional season? Would love to play vs people from "northern" meta and I will do my best to go to the regionals up north:) if not a possible solution could be a UK league on ocgtn?
avatar
markdrive

Posts : 75
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by Vince on Tue 31 Mar - 10:42

By the way, I'd be interested in knowing eveyone's House Ranking to date Smile. It could be cool as well to that on a regualr basis, just to see how we see the meta evolving Smile.
avatar
Vince
Admin

Posts : 163
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by wedge on Tue 31 Mar - 12:05

Just a few quick points:

SC wins:
Kostas didn't win one, but got a passed down bye at Stockton.
Even won two - Edinburgh with Bara maesters pre FAQ, and Newcastle with Bara A&A
I also won two - Sheffield with the Mander, and Stockton with LIV2

With regards to player strength, I largely agree with what's been said above. James and I are the most well known players and get a lot of credit as the top 2 even if that isn't the case due to other good players not travelling or being such publicity whores. I definitely agree that we aren't as good as the cream of Europe, and I think the fact that a lot of the best players are so spread out does hold us back.

House rankings are all very close at the moment which is great, but I wouldn't put Martell significantly below the others. The A&A build is good and Classic Quentyn is still very strong, specially with burn taking a knock recently
avatar
wedge

Posts : 29
Join date : 2015-02-26

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by Vince on Tue 31 Mar - 12:42

With your post Wedge, I feel even more that there's a whole part of the UK meta I don't even suspect it exists :p. We need to exchange more between us players. If it's not for the thought of improving our level, only for the pleasure of playing with as many different people as possible. That would already be great Smile. I would love to hear their opinion on the meta, the different new cards/FAQs, etc.

Well it would be cool even if we could only have somewhere sort of a list of the existing metas in the UK. For newcomers it could also be a way of finding players around them.
avatar
Vince
Admin

Posts : 163
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by OldShrimpEyes on Tue 31 Mar - 16:20

So, my take on things.

Our national meta is very fragmented and all the points made so far are spot on in that regard. I think the only time we have had a large gathering of the UK metas under one roof was last years nationals, but even that lacked a few from the beyond the Wall. If nothing else, when this years nationals start to get organised I think we should definitely push it as a chance for the UK metas to unite and even centre most of the advertising on that point.

My take on the house rankings are as follows:

Lannister
Stark
Greyjoy
Targaryen
Martell
Baratheon

Lannister's lack of SC wins in comparison to the other houses shouldn't be under estimated. In my opinion, as a house, it has the largest range if viable options open to it with little damage done by recent FAQs. Let's also remind ourselves that Rowans clansman build was potent enough without the new toys released by the most recent pack. It is only one facet of the houses play style and I feel all the others are equally viable (excluding Rush, but conquest makes the viable with Baratheon).

Stark are in a good place due to AaA and for the reasons Wamma has already mentioned, viewed as a whole, the UK has a very strong Stark presence. I dislike the house so I'm struggling to say something nice here, but I think it really is as simple as that. Stark is very efficient, in a good place and has a very competent core of loyal players carrying it's banner.

Greyjoy. I'm tempted honestly to place Greyjoy higher. Greyjoy decks have won two SCs with pilots from two different metas. I took Greyjoy to top of swiss in Rayleigh and bubbled in London. Three different pilots and results matching their comparative skill levels. This suggests to me the house is in a good shape. Greyjoy hasn't had any shiny new toys lately and in all likelihood won't get any before the end of 1.0, but is instead relying on the super efficiency of its existing cards. Let's not kid ourselves and say any of the new raider tech is any good. It isn't. What will make GJ suffer though is the release of Dorans Solar. The number of Martell decks is going to rocket up and this means a higher proportion of Venomous Blade in the meta. This isn't great news for GJ.


Targaryen has suffered from the loss of Dany and traditional Targ decks have all dropped down a peg or two as a result. The SC results and standings reflect this pretty well and I'm not sure what else needs to be said.

Martell is only in this position because aside from the Aloof and Apart build that was doing the rounds, it hasn't seen much representation at all. For what it's worth, my opinion is that this will change as soon as HOD Solar turns up. I'm surprised Quentyn didn't make more of an appearance in the meta as soon as Bara took the hit from the FAQ but I guess it's one of those little quirks of the game.

Baratheon has been shit canned big time and frankly, not a moment too soon. I utterly despised the NA build. I know Laplante's performance at Battalla suggests otherwise but I think this can be ignored for two reasons. Firstly, he isn't in the UK meta (despite the input Vince had). Most important though is because Laplante is a brilliant player and the performance in Battalla is more down to his skill than the strength of Baratheon. Bara Maesters certainly isn't anything new and I can't see that deck type seeing the same sort of success in the UK anytime soon.


avatar
OldShrimpEyes

Posts : 59
Join date : 2015-02-05
Age : 32
Location : Essex

View user profile http://Www.lolcraven.tumblr.com

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by JCWamma on Tue 31 Mar - 22:10

I find house rankings insanely difficult, because honestly there's no house I would be surprised to hear winning a tournament, be than in the UK or anywhere else around the world. If you forced me to rank them right now, I guess I'd probably go:

Lannister > Stark > Targaryen > Baratheon > Greyjoy > Martell

But there are no two houses there that I feel confident about putting the way round they are (including Lannister and Martell!). I think in the current game with a huge and varied cardpool that allows for several strategies out of each house, the only reasonable ranking you can do is more specific than the overall house - something like a "House/Agenda/Restricted". And I sure as hell am not doing that on a grand scale! (Not yet. Let's see how bored I get in the future.)
avatar
JCWamma

Posts : 63
Join date : 2015-02-05
Age : 28
Location : Hertford, UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by wedge on Wed 1 Apr - 1:14

Hopefully Blackwater will help pull the UK meta together as well as the Nationals, but we should also look for other "excuses" to let people from across the country to play together. That or we force everyone to live closer together. I'll start by moving to Manchester Razz
avatar
wedge

Posts : 29
Join date : 2015-02-26

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by ShiftyMcNinja on Wed 1 Apr - 8:47

I like how the consensus bottom 2 are Martell and Bara, did nobody pay attention to the final of Batalla... You know the 96 player tournament in Europe the other week. With a Martell vs Bara final... Surely that means they can't be the weakest 2 houses. I'd happily take both over Targ and probably even Greyjoy. Lannister is crazy good right now, and Stark is depressingly good, but not as good as Lanni I don't think. So to recap:
1)Lanni
2)Stark
3)Martell
4)Bara
5)Greyjoy
6)Targ
avatar
ShiftyMcNinja

Posts : 20
Join date : 2015-02-05
Age : 23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by Vince on Wed 1 Apr - 11:20

Well this goes with the idea of looking at the UK meta. If we look at the results here, these would be the last 2 houses. Now they are all very closed to each other, I think I never saw a meta in which all the houses could win a tournament. I mean, I remember some times when 3 or 4 houses were in the lead, but there was always 1 or 2 that were far behind. Today it's clearly a bit different ^^.
avatar
Vince
Admin

Posts : 163
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by markdrive on Wed 1 Apr - 11:29

What about the agenda? So far the most defining (worldwide) seem to be
Na- summoned by the conclave/Alleras/no flanks...do I need to say more?
Dwdw - thy took a hit after the river were soft banned (I'm talking to you one powered strength chicken) but they are still extremely strong out of lannister
Aa- stark AA is fearsome for any deck who's not running multiple resets or hard control. Martell Aa has done well on the other side of Atlantic and greyjoy aa won the biggest ocgtn tournament. Bara AA also seem strong to me
Maesters- they never left but now that u cannot anymore "Mel's favour + harrenhal" them they are crazy good in the hand of experienced players
avatar
markdrive

Posts : 75
Join date : 2015-02-04
Location : London

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by cobrabubbles on Wed 1 Apr - 13:27

I think the key thing arising from this discussion is the observation of how fragmented we are as a meta. I don't think we're really to blame for this, as no doubt from the inside many other nation-size metas seem fragmented too (I blame the inherent absurdity of the nation-state as a concept). Even so, it is the case, and that makes it very hard to pass judgement on 'the UK meta'. I know that if I try to I'll just end up talking about the Cornish Paramours, as no tournament I've been to so far this year has been attended by more than 3 non-Paramours.

I also think it's a bit strange to talk about the UK meta as if it were isolated from the rest of the world. It's true that Bara and Martell have seen less success here than elsewhere recently, but now that they are getting results abroad it wouldn't surprise me if they see a resurgence going into regionals season. What happens elsewhere affects how people think about the relative strength of houses and specific decks here.

I'm also not so keen on ranking houses. As has been said here already, there's an extraordinary variety of builds within each house these days. Craven cited my Clansmen build, and I think that's a good example. It's technically Lannister, but it doesn't feel or play like a classic Lanni deck at all. PBtT, DWDW and Alvaro-style shadow-heavy NA are all very different again. See also Targ, which has the full spectrum from slow Hollow Hill burn builds to HttIT Rush builds.

Sorry to be so deconstructing, I was going to say some positive things as well but I spent too long writing this and I have to go out now Razz
avatar
cobrabubbles

Posts : 17
Join date : 2015-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by cobrabubbles on Wed 1 Apr - 15:53

Back from the pub, time to say something more constructive. I want to comment on a couple of trends that I'm noticing both here in blighty and internationally:

1. Aloof and Apart
I'm still not sold on this agenda. All it seems to do is save you deckslots that you would otherwise use on economy, or allow you to have more economy than usual by playing it and a normal suite of maindeck econ. With the possible exception of the various rainbow builds that are floating around, using the agenda to offset the OOH penalty on some of the really good 4+ cost characters from multiple houses, it doesn't seem to give decks anything better than what it could gain from playing no agenda with Summoned and Alleras. Despite its continuing success I'm still convinced it's just a trend, and that it's doing well because people are playing it because its new. I'll be particularly interested to see how much play it continues to see when The Bloody Gate comes out, as that seems to allow you to run an A&A gold curve in no agenda if you want. I'm interested to hear what other people think, and in particular how A&A has been performing in other local metas.

2. Samwell 'the fat spider' Tarly and his little birds
Since the release of the "one powered strength chicken" (I'm totally stealing that one Marco) Sam has been seeing a lot of play. This trend is partly tied up with A&A revealing the attractions of a higher gold curve and more people splashing summer as an alternative way to accommodate it. A lot of people say that Sam is like Knights of the Realm - the more people play him the worse he gets. I'm not so sure. If your opponent is also playing Sam you give them cards as well as drawing yourself when you play a raven, but you don't lose anything. And on top of that, you can adjust your play to deal with an opposing Sam - if you're ahead on cards already you can consider not playing ravens to prevent your opponent getting back into the game; if you have a good counter to your opponent's deck that you need to dig for then you do play them; that sort of thing. With KotR you don't have that choice. Anyway, my point is that I think the trend towards this strong neutral draw engine loks to be longer-lasting than the A&A trend. Again I'm interested to hear what other people think, and how much Sam they've been seeing lately.

3. Burn
Burn decks are one of those meta-defining archetypes. When they are strong they can completely prevent people from playing certain strategies; when they are weak certain things do better (I'm looking at you, Lannister). These days I'm hearing of very little Burn getting played either here or abroad. I'm not sure what to think about this. On the one hand, the trend towards big No Attachments armies started by the prevalence of Mel's Favour and continued by A&A would seem to make burn's life more difficult. On the other hand though a lot of decks are relying on low-strength characters - Lannister typically has a lot, A&A tend to use quite a few weenies to round out their curve, and of course a lot of people are leaning pretty heavily on little Sam. The golden age of Targ KotHH, which began around Worlds 2012 with Bruno's House of Pain taking the title, was brought to an abrupt end with the restriction of The Red Keep and the subsequent release of Harrenhal last year. However, since then several people have had some success with it on the big stage, including our own Wedge. HoD Dragonpit was also considered very strong for a large part of last year, but has completely dropped off the radar for no obvious reason. Again my question is, are people seeing much burn where they are, and what do they think of the trend away from it? Now that Dany-abuse Targ decks are somewhat less viable, could it be time for burn to rise from the ashes once more?
avatar
cobrabubbles

Posts : 17
Join date : 2015-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by cobrabubbles on Wed 1 Apr - 16:23

Oh and one more thing - I forgot to say I really like the idea of a UK only octgn tourney. I'm up for helping to organise.
avatar
cobrabubbles

Posts : 17
Join date : 2015-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK meta after SC season

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum